How To Support Your Partner: 8 Super Helpful Ideas
How To Support Your Partner in Difficult Times
I’ll take how to support your partner for $300.
I have been on a Jeopardy kick lately. The contestants on that show really are impressive!
While I rarely know the answers to the questions on that show, I do know a little something about support in relationships.
What I know to be true without a shadow of a doubt is that support is a necessary part of a relationship. (duh, right?)
At least it is if you want a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Which of course we all do.
This means it is an absolute must every now and then to take a look at the support train in your relationship and see how it’s chugging along.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Here Are 8 Tips All About How To Support Your Partner
Are you a good listener?
I would like to think I am now. But I haven’t always been.
One thing I used to do was listen until I had something to say. After that, I was half listening and half trying to make sure I didn’t forget my response.
As you can guess, this way of listening did not work wonders for my marriage.
Listening is powerful. SO POWERFUL!
We don’t always have to have an answer or a solution to offer. Sometimes just being present and offering your ear is more than enough.
Often someone just wants to vent. They want to be heard and feel seen. Give your partner the gift of being truly listened to.
Everyone appreciates when they are receiving someone’s full attention. No distractions. Especially no phones!
Listening shows your partner that they are important and you value them. (more than the TV or whatever notification popped up on your phone)
2) What Do THEY Need
We may naturally be inclined to provide support, advice, or guidance in the way that we would want it.
But supporting someone else is not about us. It is about them.
We have to become more inquisitive about our partner’s needs.
And we need to hold ourselves accountable to follow through with what our partner has expressed to us.
This sounds simple enough but it can present a real challenge.
It can be a real struggle to put aside what we think needs to be done.
One huge thing we can do is ask questions. Questions can bridge the gap between listening and understanding.
Questions (no matter how big, small, seemingly insignificant, or silly) can provide clarity.
They can get you headed in the opposite directions of the slippery slope most of us have fallen victim to. Assumptions.
Knowing is always better than assuming. Especially in relationships!
3) Do What THEY Need
It is one thing to listen to what your partner needs. It is another thing to follow through on what they need.
Now, this can be a challenge. Try your very best to respect what your partner wants. Even when every fiber of your being wants to do something else.
It is great when someone expresses that they are there for us. But does that act of “being there” lead to anything else?
It’s like that “talk the talk” or “walk the walk” saying.
This is a great way to not only show support to your partner but also respect your partner.
Maybe they need space or time to digest things a little on their own before you both discuss it together. OK, so do that. Let’s honor our partner’s wishes and hope that act is reciprocated.
Another thing this builds is trust. And we all know how key that is to build a stellar relationship.
4) Keep it Light…
And judgment free. Or at least give it your very best effort to keep judgments at bay.
We can jump to judgment very quickly. We may not even realize we are doing it.
The words just fall out of our mouths. And we can’t put those words back.
Sharing (even with our partners) is not always easy. But there are things we can do to make our partners feel more comfortable.
Creating a safe space for you both to come together and to be vulnerable is one of those things.
Honestly, this circles back to the first thing we talked about. Listening.
More specifically, working on listening more than we talk.
And this is the perfect place to pop in a little reminder that support and agreement are not one and the same. Those two words are not synonyms.
We can and should support our partners even if we do not completely agree with every single one of their choices.
Support shouldn’t come with conditions. (as long as no one is in danger of course)
5) Have a Meeting
Life can get busy. Some seasons more so than others.
And things can get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. No one intentionally means for these things to get lost but it happens nonetheless.
This is where meetings can really come in handy.
My husband and I have marriage meetings on a consistent basis. It’s a set time and place where each of us can bring up whatever is on our minds.
This is a small but powerful way to stay connected. And connection and support are definitely friends.
Meetings are also a nice preparation for the week ahead. That is if you have them on Sundays like we do in my house.
They also help combat the unavoidable stresses of life. Sharing your life with someone is about just that. Sharing.
And life and our relationships will be massively better when the loads we carry are out there in the open and divvied up.
6) Be Present
As I mentioned before, life can be a lot sometimes.
But making an effort to be present in your day-to-day life can be a game-changer.
It can help you notice things going on with your partner that may have been easily missed or brushed off.
Couples can often become like ships passing in the night. Most of us have probably been there at one time or another.
This is the time when we have to look for small moments to show up and be there. Really be fully there.
Is this easy? Nope. Is this necessary? Most definitely.
We must prioritize our partners. And just prioritize in general. The mile-long to-do lists and schedules that seem to be constantly jam-packed can take a toll on anyone.
We live in a world where more is better. And being crazy busy is a sign that you’re doing something right.
This mindset can cause us to always be looking forward which in turn means we are not fully present in our life. Our life that is happening right now.
I just finished this fabulous book and absolutely loved it. It really dives into some dangerous ideas that many of us have trouble getting away from and breaks down how to live in the here and now happy and fulfilled. SUCH A GOOD READ!
7) Avoid Fixing
It is not your responsibility to fix every issue your partner has. It is not your job. That is not on you. And the same is true of your partner.
It’s not their job to fix every issue that you face.
Now, this is when it is extremely important to really tune in to what your partner is looking for. Maybe they are in search of some advice. Great. Offer that right up.
But try not to pounce right into fix-it mode. I know from experience this can come off as overbearing and shut the conversation down.
Take a deep breath and tread lightly.
Fixing is in my DNA so I get how difficult this is. Like most things, there is no fast fix. Practice is the only way.
Repeat the phrase “it is not my responsibility to fix this” when you are faced with the overwhelming urge to be the fixer.
8) Personal Growth
In order to be there for others, we need to make sure we are showing up for ourselves.
We need to consistently work on ourselves. And learn and grow.
I am a huge self-improvement junkie. And you know what? No shame in my game.
How nice would it be if everyone made even a teeny tiny bit of room in their lives for personal development?
If people were more open and honest about their struggles and hardships? If people were more willing to work through issues…even when it is really tough or uncomfortable?
P.S. If you are a fellow bookworm, these books are game changers in the life-improvement category. And it would not take long at all to do a quick search and find some podcasts if that’s more your style.
No one will ever be perfect. None of us will respond or react in the exact way our partner wants every time. We will not always be the partner we strive to be.
Why? Well, because we are human!
Having a back-and-forth passing of support is not a relationship luxury reserved for only the lucky few.
It’s something we all want, need, and definitely deserve. It’s also something that (like most things in relationships) will take some practice and consistent effort.
But our relationships are worth it.
Have any tips on how to support your partner? Let us know!
You Might Also Like: